Fantasy Island: AT&T National

By Golf Channel DigitalJune 28, 2011, 5:30 pm experts offer up their picks for the AT&T National. Each week a panel of experts will offer up their picks from three groups of players based on Golf Channel's new fantasy game, Fantasy Challenge. We will also keep track of their scores and standings. The panel consists of: senior writers Rex Hoggard, Randall Mell and Jason Sobel; contributors John Hawkins and Charlie Rymer; editorial director Jay Coffin; 'Morning Drive' hosts Gary Williams and Erik Kuselias; contributor Win McMurry; writer for's ProGolf Talk, Ryan Ballengee; and's Rob Bolton.

You can battle the experts and play along as well. Just click here to get into the game.Compete against the experts and other fans in our Fantasy Challenge.

In parentheses, next to the names, are the participants' 2011 points earned and ranking among the 17 Fantasy Challenge 'experts.'

Rex Hoggard

Rex Hoggard (7,193,715; 5th)

Group A: Nick Watney: Most consistent American right now posted four rounds in the 60s at the Travelers Championship.

Group B: Greg Chalmers: Chalmers currently leads the PGA Tour in 'putts gained,' whatever that means.

Group C: Patrick Cantlay: The amateur may be running on fumes but he doesn't seem to be impacted by fatiage or conventional wisdom.             

Randall Mell

Randall Mell (4,535,889; 16th)

Group A: Nick Watney: The game feels young again, except in the United States, where Watney still seems young (at barely 30).

Group B: Rickie Fowler: Sticking with the youth theme, this would be a nice time and place for Fowler to break through for his first title.

Group C: Pat Perez: Signs of life in Perez’s game the last two months, and he’s played some tough courses well (T-6 at Harbour Town and Quail Hollow).


Jason Sobel

Jason Sobel (N/A, N/A)

Group A: Ryan Moore: Runner-up last week in Hartford + runner-up last year at Aronimink = Big things coming once again.

Group B: Brian Davis: When he wins – and yes, he will win sometime soon – it will be hailed as karma from his self-imposed penalty last year at Harbour Town.

Group C: Andres Romero: Streaky player. When he’s on, he’s on – and he appears to be on right now.


Charlie Rymer

Charlie Rymer (6,616,393; 7th)

Group A: Ryan Moore: I'm betting Ryan Moore continues his good play from last week, and who knows, being in Philadelphia, he may even sport a Ben Franklin get up this week.

Group B: Bryce Molder: Molder is starting to show good form again with a solid top 10 at the Travelers.

Group C: Erik Compton: He's got heart (and I'm not just talking about the third one beating in his chest), class, game, is an inspiration, and is a heckuva nice guy.


John Hawkins

John Hawkins (6,251,138; 8th)

Group A: K.J. Choi: Looking for a tough-course expert with a good short game.

Group B: Jason Dufner: I'll admit, he's just a total hunch.

Group C: J.J. Henry: Just played in his charity outing. That oughta count for something.


Jay Coffin

Jay Coffin (7,268,073; 4th)

Group A: Hunter Mahan: As good as anyone else in the field. He's too good not to win more often.

Group B: Bo Van Pelt: Always been a BVP fan. He played well during the weekend of the U.S. Open.

Group C: J.J. Henry: Just a gut feeling here so take it for what it's worth. Best player of this group.


Gary Williams

Gary Williams (6,123,389; 10th)

Group A: Nick Watney: Has been one of the most consistant players on Tour in 2011.

Group B: Sean O'Hair: Finished T-11 in 2010 AT&T National at Aronimink, where he is a member.

Group C: Johnson Wagner: Played great in Cromwell last week including shooting 63 in the second round on his way to a T-17 finish.


Erik Kuselias

Erik Kuselias (6,220,687; 9th)

Group A: Ryan Moore: Finished runner-up last week in the Travelers and he was runner-up last year in the AT&T National.

Group B: J.B. Holmes: Finished runner-up last week in the Travelers and he was runner-up last year in the AT&T National.

Group C: Andres Romero: Finished T6 last week in the Travelers and played well for 36 holes at Aronimink in 2010.


Win McMurry

Win McMurry (9,316,624; 1st)

Group A: Gary Woodland: Hard not to take Moore, but Woodland’s been spending time with Faxon this week working on his putting.

Group B: Webb Simpson: Three top-15s in his last three starts have Webb primed to breakthrough.

Group C: Tim Herron: He carded two rounds of 68 last year at Aronimink, and he recently was T-3 at the FedEx St. Jude Classic.


Ryan Ballengee

Ryan Ballengee (4,601,820; 15th)

Group A: Ryan Moore: Despite the missed 4-footer to tie Fredrik Jacobson at the Travelers, his game is in good shape.

Group B: Ricky Barnes: Barnes has developed a reputation for liking tough golf courses.

Group C: Johnson Wagner: There's a trend here to my picks: find guys who played well last week and hope they do well again this week.

Rob Bolton

Rob Bolton (6,254,719; 12th)

Group A: Ryan Moore: Travelers co-runner-up is Donald Ross track specialist. Solo second last year.

Group B: J.B. Holmes: Comes in under radar despite 12-for-12 season. Solo fifth here last year.

Group C: Trevor Immelman: Runner-up at U.S. Junior Amateur at Aronimink in 1997.

For more in-depth fantasy golf coverage, visit Rotoworld powered by NBC Sports.RotoWorld


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Rory: Phil said RC task force just copied Europe

By Randall MellFebruary 21, 2018, 7:21 pm

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Playing the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am two weeks ago, Rory McIlroy quizzed Phil Mickelson about what the Americans got out of the U.S. Ryder Cup task force’s overhaul.

McIlroy and Mickelson were paired together at Pebble Beach.

“Basically, all they are doing is copying what the Europeans have done,” McIlroy said.  “That's what he said.”

The Europeans claimed their sixth of seven Ryder Cups with their victory at Gleneagles in 2014. That brought about a sea change in the way the United States approached the Ryder Cup. Mickelson called out the tactics in Gleneagles of captain Tom Watson, who was outmaneuvered by European captain Paul McGinley.

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The Americans defeated Europe at Hazeltine two years ago with that new European model.

“He said the first thing they did in that task force was Phil played a video, a 12-minute video of Paul McGinley to all of them,” McIlroy said. “So, they are copying what we do, and it's working for them. It's more cohesive, and the team and the core of that team are more in control of what they are doing, instead of the PGA of America recruiting and someone telling them what to do.”

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Tiger Tracker: Honda Classic

By Tiger TrackerFebruary 21, 2018, 7:00 pm

Tiger Woods is making his third start of the year at the Honda Classic. We're tracking him at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

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Woods happy to help Furyk at Ryder Cup

By Ryan LavnerFebruary 21, 2018, 6:58 pm

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Tiger Woods didn't hesitate when Jim Furyk asked him to become a vice captain at the upcoming Ryder Cup.

Woods said Wednesday that Furyk asked he and Steve Stricker “a while ago” whether they were interested in being assistants in Paris as the Americans try to win a Ryder Cup on foreign soil for the first time in 25 years.

“He’s one of my best friends,” Woods said of Furyk, “and whatever he wants, whatever he needs, I’m there to help him. We’re worked well the last couple of years in the cups together.”

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Though Woods has said that he wants to be a playing vice captain, he has been an assistant at each of the past two international team competitions.

Furyk, Woods and Stricker were all assistants at Hazeltine, where the U.S. won in a rout.

“Jim is very detailed, very smart, very analytical, and he’s just a fantastic leader,” Woods said. “For him to ask Stricks and I together, it will be special for both of us.”

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Woods to hit '4 or 5' drivers each day at Honda

By Ryan LavnerFebruary 21, 2018, 6:25 pm

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Those hoping Tiger Woods will wield the driver early and often this week at PGA National likely will be disappointed.

Depending on wind direction, he said he will only hit “four or five” drivers each round.

During Wednesday’s pro-am, Woods hit driver on six holes. He found two fairways with the big stick and found the right rough four times, though a few of those misses were only a few yards off the fairway.

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In two starts this year, Woods has struggled mightily with every club off the tee, but driver has been especially troublesome. He has found only 36 percent of the fairways so far (30 of 84).

The Champion Course here is a par 70, with water and bunkers often lining the fairways. Putting the ball in play off the tee will be at a premium, and so Woods opted for a low, penetrating 2-iron six times in the pro-am.

Woods said he did not make any equipment changes following the missed cut at Riviera.